Welcome to a new era for HOAs – electronic voting. This is exciting news for Seacrest Services and for your Association. Nearly 75% of all US citizens have internet access according to the 2013 US Census. The majority of people are using the internet for nearly everything that traditional paper methods used to handle. In the comfort of their home, association members can vote during elections within their community. The daunting challenges with tallying ballots are gone with electronic voting, not to mention the cost of printing, mailing, and encouraging members to participate in a timely manner. Their inbox can send the “ballot” and it will prompt them to get their vote in immediately.
With this law comes current Statutory Requirements that the Association must provide each owner with:
- Authentication of the unit owners identity to the online voting system
- Secrecy and integrity of each ballot, for elections of the Board
- Confirmation 14 days in advance, that the unit owner’s electronic device can successfully communicate with the online voting system.
Also, the Association must use an Online Voting System that is able to:
- Authenticate the Unit Owner’s Identity
- Must be able to Authenticate the validity of each Electronic Vote to ensure that the vote is not altered in transit
- For elections of the Board of Administration, able to permanently separate any authentication or identifying information from the electronic voting ballot, rendering it impossible to tie an election ballot to a specific owner (only if the Association’s By-Laws specifically state the vote must be kept secret)
- Able to store and keep electronic votes accessible to election officials for recount, inspection and review purposes if so determined.
Steps Board Members must take for Online Voting:
- Board must pass a resolution and/or update Bylaws to include verbiage about electronic voting
- Members must consent in writing to online voting
- Board must hire an online election vendor
- Members must test the system a minimum of 14 days prior to the official voting time.
What Should You Do With This Information?
As a Seacrest Services Association, we are here to help with this innovative technology. Making voting easier for your members will bring continuity to your community and ultimately allow members to be more involved in this area. It’s not too late to make a change in this direction, so please contact your Property Manager to discuss the possibilities.